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Guess it's just a bad week to be a panda.

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Every now & then I have a good week. It's rare, but it does happen. That was the week before last for me. I refrained from posting on here last week when things started to sour because I didn't want to jinx myself. But, with the arrival of a new week, I know jinxing has nothing to do with it.


I can't help but to think that Lyme treatment is making my P.A.N.D.A.S./PITAND symptoms stand out more. Does that make any sense? My physical symptoms, with the exception of the Narcolepsy, have been worlds better. But the mental ones have just nosedived. Oh my God.


Pandas : You know what I'm talking about. When you're having a good week, & in the back of your mind you're waiting for it. Waiting for whatever will send it all toppling down. & after a few days of basking in the ecstasy of normalcy, you start noticing things. A shirt you liked got stained. A friend said something jokingly but it hit a little too close to home. You have a bad hair day. & for just a second, that feeling comes back. That all-consuming, overwhelming helplessness. Only it's different this time because you can push it down, feeling brave with those few good days on your side. So that twinge of melancholy, that flash of fury, that speck of apathy, they all go away. But after it's paid a visit the first time it makes itself a little too at home & starts coming more often, spending more & more time whenever it does. Sinking deeper into your couch, eating all the food in your fridge, leaving its toothbrush next to yours on the sink... & before you can say something, before you can even figure out what's going on, that stranger has moved in. Only he's not a stranger. He's someone you've known for a long, long time & fought tooth & nail to rid yourself of. Yet, here he is. Leaving the toilet seat up, reorganizing your kitchen, & making a mess of everything. Having him pay a visit was bad enough, but you were able to push him back out the door. Now that he's here, now that he's sunk his grubby toes into your carpet, molded his shape into your sofa cushions, the very fact of it all makes his presence even worse.


You got him away the first time. So what's different now? Why am I so weak & stupid & pathetic? What is wrong with me? But you don't have time to hate yourself just yet, because then he starts visiting you at school. Following you when you go out with your friends. Hitching a ride on your shadow anytime you walk out the door. You KNOW you put that paper right here... It's a test grade & it's due today but it's nowhere to be found. & there he is. Rage. You have so much to say but you just can't seem to open your mouth. So you sit, the only silent one, feeling completely alone in a room full of people. Pretending to text the friends you don't have when your phone's dead anyway. &, dependable as always, there he is. Misery. After a few days of these surprises, he's latched onto your back. Digging his teeth & claws into your shoulder. Putting all of his weight on your poor kidneys. & then you go grocery shopping, you sit in Algebra class, or you lie in bed.... & he never leaves. You accidentally touched a doorknob. You missed a problem on the homework. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror only to realize that you're hideous. & sure enough, there he is. But this time around he's got his friends. Agony. Anger. Desolation. Bitter. Despondence. Enmity. Gloom. Hate. Sorrow. All at once, all the time. (We know what we're given, & pandas are given blacks & whites. I'd love some shades of grey.) Until the weight of them all fighting for space on your back brings you to the floor. & keeps you there. & you don't leave the house anymore because you can't get up, & even if you did they would follow you. Hang onto every limb they could get their hands on. So you stay on the floor where you don't have to be reminded as much. & you sit & sit & sit, all of those volatile feelings getting heavier & heavier every single day until all you can do is scream. Throw a little fit. Dig your nails into your skin. Pull out your own hair. Beat the #### out of yourself like it's nothing. Take a razor to your wrist. Put your toes to the edge of a roof, all the while wondering... Would it stop then? All because you don't know what else to do. When you can't destroy them, when you can't shake those violent emotions, those itching obsessions, those haunting compulsions... You figure that the only way to make it stop is to move onto yourself. Because that burden is all you know, that weight becomes you.











My Mom & stepdad went on vacation to Belize last week. I suppose it was Tuesday, but I can't really remember. I was going to go but tickets were three times as expensive for when I was on spring break & me & the sun haven't been friends lately anyway. Stupid sensitive eyes. Anyway, I look weird with a tan. My Mom left her car here, told me that I could use it as long as I didn't go far or do something stupid. She doesn't like it when her car sits around unused, she says it's bad for it.

Well, they come back tomorrow & her car is just gathering dust. Not because I'm disrespectful & certainly not because I'm the only sixteen year old on Earth who wouldn't be thrilled at the prospect of being able to have the car to myself for a week. Just because I've had no reason to.

On Thursday my friend Victoria came over. I've known her since the fourth grade, which is seven years now, & I love her in a big way. :) We weren't close before I got sick though, so there's not much of that Emerson she remembers. When she got to my house she told me that our friend Britlyn (who is basically my twin. It's a little freaky.) wanted to go to Braum's for ice cream. I told her that I had no money & she said "Oh, I've got enough, I'll pay for you!". So Britlyn picked us up (I wanted to drive but she was already out & about) & off we were. Only, when we got to Braum's Victoria didn't pay for me. She just ordered her ice cream cone & said "That's all." & this is where it gets panda-y. Because it's ice cream. It is just ####ing ice cream. But nothing "is just" anything to us. When your diet consists of little more than Adderall & Lima beans, ice cream is pretty exciting. Which is why I was so thrilled to sit & watch them eat theirs, while I sat. Wishing I wasn't broke, that I could eat like a normal girl, & that I didn't get trapped in my head so often. & that really is exactly what happens. We get visited by that one unwelcome intruder, that one nasty thought... & it's all over. They just multiply until it feels like there's nothing else in my head. I get so busy, so distracted with all of those thoughts that I basically tune out to the outside world in some vain attempt to focus on the commotion in my head. Sure enough though, you more you concentrate the more you notice. These black splotches of resentment where happiness should be. Traumas where summer memories should be. Night all the time, but never sunshine. Sure enough, a little bad thought turns into a couple bad thoughts turns into one big bad thought turns into turns into turns into until you've got this gigantic, complicated lump of self-loathing where your brain should be.


It starts with the reasonable; I was disappointed that I didn't get to have ice cream. I was ticked with Victoria for not following through. I was jealous that my friends got to have ice cream. But then it all just goes downhill... I hate Victoria because I know she offered just to screw with me. Just to make me sad in front of Britlyn so that I would look stupid. Because she hated me & wanted to make sure that I was unhappy. I hated Britlyn because while she may have looked like me, I knew she didn't think like me. For smiling so big, for laughing so loud, for looking so pretty without makeup. For loving herself & being the perfect version of who I could be if I wasn't me. I hate myself for being fat & liking ice cream. For being chubby in all the wrong places. For having to watch every single thing I eat while everyone else can eat whatever they want without having to be scared of getting fat or sick. I hated my parents for going on vacation. Then I might have been able to pay for myself. & that's when it just gets bad... I feel guilty for thinking the way that I do. I know that's not me, but it's the me that I live with everyday. I love Victoria, I love Britlyn, & I love my parents. But I don't love me. Not this one, at least. So I take all of that resentment & flip it inwards. Above all else, I hate myself for hating myself. No one else feels like this, so why do I? Why am I so stupid, so weak & pathetic that I can't live with the things that everyone else does? Why am I so immature that it feels like I'm going through the terrible two's at sixteen years old? What is WRONG with me? & this is when the feelings mix. The blue & the red of sadness & anger come together to create the purple of apathy. When I clench my jaw until it feels as though my teeth might shatter. When I lock my toes, my ankles, & my knees, contort them until it feels as though they might pop. When I jerk my neck as far back as it will go, between my shoulderblades where the Dystonia is the worst. (these have taken years to perfect. Sounds like an odd thing to say, but there are times when you can NOT wait long enough to slip away. It's all wrapped in OCD. You have to do it, & you have to do it NOW. Or you might explode) Where it's the most painful. When people think of self-harm they think of self-hatred. I've got self-hatred to spare, but when I'm doing these things I'm not thinking of that. I'm not thinking of disenchantment. Or heartache. Or hopelessness. I'm thinking of nothing at all. If I just focus on that pain, that sting, that hurt... everything else melts away. Now, I don't mean that things get better, because they don't. It's like being lifted out of a fiery ###### for a minute of Purgatory. For a split second, it's divine. It's ecstasy. But it is NOTHING & nothing is better than the uproar in my head that I'm used to. It hurts like #### & it doesn't hurt a bit all at once. It's like one of those optical illusions, & it does take practice. To be able to feel like your bones are about to break without flinching. To draw blood in your hand using nothing but your nails without so much as blinking. To be able to hold a conversation while putting yourself in as much pain as physically possible at that moment. Self- harm doesn't have to be planned, it doesn't even have to take time out of your day. We know how to multi-task. All too often people think strictly of cutting, burning, starving, & things like that... We don't have to excuse ourselves, go to the bathroom & bang our wrists on the counter. We don't even have to get up from the table.


But like all good things, that too must come to an end. It feels like a balloon popping. It starts off with reasonable frustration, grows to irrational fury, gets flatout crazy, until the pressure builds & it pops. I don't know how to put this next part, but anyone who's experienced it will understand. When I get mad, it's normal in the beginning. It's something everyone feels. But unlike everyone else, I can't control my anger. It controls me. When I start hating everyone, hating myself, & hurting myself... That's the panda in me. That's not something everyone feels, has ever felt, or ever will. Those feelings are blind & annihilate anything & everything in their path. Those feelings, those actions, are the crazy. But when that balloon pops, when that numbness expires... it's back to sanity, back to reality. Which is anything but pleasant, but at least I have the reigns.


& that's when I cry. Because that is literally all you can do when you come back down to earth. Look through your own eyes again. Look at what you've done to yourself... & sob. Not because you have to, not because something little set you off, but because that's what you're supposed to do. THAT is natural, even though not everyone else knows how it feels. You sink to the floor, crumple in a ball, & cry into your hands. Just cry. You don't scream, nothing is making you cry, it's simple & it's beautiful even if it's sad. You feel hollow & exhausted, all your energy spent on hating yourself. & that's all it is. Pure, unadulterated sadness. Not misery or depression or despair. Just... sadness. I imagine it's like coming to after a long night of drinking. Figuring out what exactly you did. Having to face the choices you made. Praying you don't end up here again. Except, it's not a weekend thing for us. It's an everyday thing for us. We have to apologize for all of the horrible things we said. Fix everything we smashed. Look ourselves over to find the bruises we know are there. Lie in a heap on the bathroom floor, asking myself "What have I done???" until it doesn't mean a thing. Until I can't hear myself sniffling. Until I can't feel my scalding, salty tears. Until I'm ready to wipe my eyes & get up yet again to face another day. Because that's all I can do.








People often ask me why I'm depressed. I don't like the word depressed in the first place, but I have a hard time conveying that I'm depressed because I'm depressed. I'm not sad because my boyfriend dumped me, because I'm making bad grades, or any other run-of-the-mill reason. Even more specifically, I'm not unstable because my bestfriend is in boarding school, or because another one killed herself just a few months ago, or because six months isn't enough time for me to fall out of love. I feel the way that I do because I am. There's nothing I or anyone else can do to "fix" something & make it all better. That's just how it is.









I'm writing this because I was supposed to go to Braum's today to make up for last week. My friend Becky was going to take me & pick up our friend Lauren on the way. But when I texted Becky asking where to find her after school, she told me she had already left because she wanted to skip Science. I had to ask some random girl in my art class to take me home. In a vain attempt to keep my head up, I offered to pick Lauren up & go just the two of us. But she said she had no money. Which is odd, seeing as how she had enough to make these plans yesterday... & now my Grandma is offering to take me but I don't even want to. I haven't left the house besides for school & my Dad's since that failed ice cream trip, which was the first time I had in two weeks. I don't want to be me anymore.



^"I'm just a normal boy

That sank when I fell overboard

My ship would leave the country

But I'd rather swim ashore


Without a life vest I'd be stuck again

Wish I was much more masculine

Maybe then I could learn to swim

Like 'fourteen miles away'


Now floating up and down

I spin, colliding into sound

Like whales beneath me diving down

I'm sinking to the bottom of my

Everything that freaks me out

The lighthouse beam has just run out

I'm cold as cold as cold can be


I want to swim away but don't know how

Sometimes it feels just like I'm fallin' in the ocean

Let the waves up take me down

Let the hurricane set in motion, yeah

Let the rain of what I feel right now, come down

Let the rain come down


Where is the coastguard

I keep looking each direction

For a spotlight, give me something

I need something for protection

Maybe flotsam junk will do just fine

The jetsam sunk, I'm left behind

I'm treading for my life believe me

(How can I keep up this breathing)


Not knowing how to think

I scream aloud, begin to sink

My legs and arms are broken down

With envy for the solid ground

I'm reaching for the life within me

How can one man stop his ending

I thought of just your face

Relaxed, and floated into space


I want to swim away but don't know how

Sometimes it feels just like I'm fallin' in the ocean

Let the waves up take me down

Let the hurricane set in motion, yeah

Let the rain of what I feel right now, come down

Let the rain come down


Now waking to the sun

I calculate what I had done

Like jumping from the bow, yeah

Just to prove that I knew how, yeah

It's midnight's late reminder of

The loss of her, the one I love

My will to quickly end it all

Sat front row in my need to fall"

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It seems like PANDAS is beating so many people up lately. Anywhere you look someone is worsening, so many have strep, it's like we are all locked in this world of worry, sadness, anger and fear.


If it means anything, we are all here for you. Even if I may not be an official panda, I do get what you are saying and I have felt the way you are. What can I say except it sucks.

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It's all going to end someday, and not because you've ended, but because you've gotten well. That sounds like such an empty promise. But there will be a day when you just get PO'ed and that's all it is, you'll just be angry, there won't be any rage or resentment attached to it you'll just get to feel the blessed pure feeling of being p*ssed. And you'll get to feel disappointed in yourself without it being the end of the world. I know most people reading this will think that's a funny thing to aim for, but it's so utterly important to have your brain align with your emotions, and so infuriatingly frustrating when it doesn't.


Don't take this onto yourself, like you're responsible for what your brain/immune system/microbes are doing. Would you blame someone with lung cancer for having trouble breathing? You are not responsible. You are doing absolutely everything you can to make yourself better and that is the only thing in the world that matters. Even if it's your mouth and your hands that are doing something "bad", you've got to remember that EmersonAilidh would never make those choices. You have absolutely zilch to be ashamed of.


Lots of hugs.

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Em..i read a good portion of your post,,,have not read any replies


let me start with you are very expressive and i can get the under/overtones, the symblymism, some of the articulate choice of words to convey the ride you are on...and it is a bit eye opening...

but also i am a little concerned....

please know..it is better to write and convey and reach out for help...

i hope you also have someone or a mentor you can call in times of need...you are very resourceful and maybe you could find someone through a church or school..


pleas also NOTE...girls/some women(and i realie this is a generalization )are difficult.....i am a woman, but a good portion of my friends are men....i've always worked in industries with mostly men(for the most part) it is easier though they can be annoying in their own right....

some of it is life...and even best friends..who mostly mean no harm will find a way to disappoint you..because they were being a little selfish, or the made an honest mistake...these are the years where you learn to cope...determine when to let them know..let it slide..see how often it happens and deside who your friends are and who is really just a good aquaintence...

and someone who might be a good freind one day, may some day be a strong aquaintence as you, they change, life, college, kids, distance etc come into play..and it is hard sometimes even as an adult..but you adjust and wish all well and realize in their path..that that was the desision they made for what ever reasons and we all have our journeys...let it go the best you can so it doesn't eat you and you learn from it as well...who can rely on,,how often you ask before you get the hint,and how long before they get the hint..and the hardest part is to realize when you are in the wrong...i am still working on that, as i am perfect(ly-crazy).

and yes you do have it harder than most...but you will be the stongest and have the most real friends over the cours of your life, and try to remember them fondly when the road splits for you and some of them

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I know the pain and horrific range of emotions that you speak of only too well. I have watched my son suffer for a very long time. As hard as it is to watch, I can not imagine how hard it is to live. You are doing all the right things to make yourself well!! It is not a short or smooth road to wellness but at least you have now mapped out a route! You hang in there and stick to your treatment plan and you will beat this!!!

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Having pandas is unbelievably hard. Being a teenager is also really hard- you are transforming into an adult- no growth like that comes without pain. High school can be really hard, because at the time it seems like your whole world. Put all three together and it seems impossible...


Be patient, give it time, things will get better, and then things will get wonderful for you- we can all see it- the amazing young adult you are becoming, with so much to offer, who WILL have a wonderful life.

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Emerson, Wow....You are an extremely talented young woman....let me say this again...YOU ARE AN EXTREMELY TALENTED YOUNG WOMAN!!!! I hate that you are going thru this right now.....but what an incredible writer you are!!!!! Please please please write more......We need another good book, you should write you story and send it somewhere. I would read it! Hope you start feeling better soon......wishing for good days for you!

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Hi there Emerson, I wanted you to know that I sent you a private message. In case you don't see it, I'll write more here too.


I'm sure that many reading your post feel the same sense of concern that I do. It's hard for people to know what to say--because it's so insufficient to to be communicating online, when we can't reach out and personally help you through this difficult time.


You said your mom and stepdad are returning from their trip tomorrow. Can you let them know how really terrible things are right now and ask for help? Is that something you can do? Do you have someone you can call tonight?


You will return to happier times. Would you reach out to your Forum friends by calling them if you have their number, or sending PMs and asking them to call you and giving your number? We care about you and want those brighter days for you again. Do let us all know how you are doing, OK? You have tons of friends who care, xoxo Sheila

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I don't have time to respond to everyone but I just wanted to say that I'm doing better today. Not on-top-of-the-world better, but better nonetheless. :) I think just putting that all down made a huge difference. Thank you all. <333


Once I finish writing this all down tonight I'm going to edit it. As usual, I feel like I said a bit too much & I'm always worried of offending people. So just in case I'll probably be removing some of the darker parts.

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Hi Em & thanks for posting an update; you've been on my mind. I'm glad today was a little better and hope it continues... glad your mom is home now too. Hugs sweet girl... we're here and we care. ♥

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Hi Emerson,

It's not about saying too much...really...it was worrisome to hear about some of the darker thoughts only because it's hard to tell on a forum if you are at the point of imminent danger, or just sharing some vents about it all. I know being the mother of a pandas kid, there are times I think about how much more I can handle everything, and how I can get out of having to handle it....maybe that was all you were saying. It is just hard to tell without really knowing you personally, and I think I can speak for everyone here that we just want you to feel better, and to be safe. Hugs!

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Okay. Finally have time for a proper response.


Denise ~ I'm SO SORRY I haven't responded to your FaceBook message. When it gets sent to my phone it automatically gets marked as "read" so I never see it when I get on the actual computer... Promise I will do that though. Thanks for being awesome. :)


Vickie ~ That definitely means something! Knowing y'all are here helps a lot.


Emily ~ You are an angel. & FaceBook did the same thing to your message that it did to Denise's. D: so you get an apology too. I completely & totally understand what you're saying. Being pissed off sounds like a weird thing to hope for, but it sounds awesome to me!!! Haha.


FixIt ~ I do have people to reach out to, & I have. Don't worry about that. I know that girls are catty & stupid, haha. I think it'd be difficult to be in high school & not notice that everyone around you is a snarky ##### 24/7, haha. I also know that I'll come out strongest in the end, & I can't wait for my ten year high school reunion when I get to tell everyone "Hey. I'm a psychiatrist now," while they get to tell me about what it's like to still be working at the mall. Sometimes I see that silver lining & it's nice. :)


Dabel ~ I have stuck to my treatment plan to the T! I honestly don't care about how b ad the herxing gets. It's just of no concern to me. It's time to knock this out.


Pathfinder ~ William added me on FaceBook! Dunno if he told you. Thank you. :)


DCMom ~ & when I get to have that wonderful life you bet I'll have ACN & all of my cybermoms to thank. :D


Kbossman1 ~ I've been writing about being a sick kid for quite a while now. I hope to make a memoir one day, if it's interesting enough. Haha. :) I love writing.


Sheila ~ Thank you for your PM & responses. Your concern is heartwarming.


Eljomom ~ I promise that if I'm on the forum, I'm not in "imminent danger". I know that's hardly a reliable sounding promise, but it's true.

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